The title "master of ceremonies" applies to both men and women. An individual hosting a staged event or performance may also be referred to as an MC or emcee.
The Catholic Church coined the term "master of ceremonies," referring to an official of the Papal Court who has the responsibility to make sure that rituals involving the Pope take place properly and smoothly. The use of "masters of ceremonies" in Catholic tradition was first recorded in the 15th century.
In common usage, a master of ceremonies talks to an audience, tells jokes and keeps an event on schedule. In hip hop music, a performer who writes and performs his own vocals is known as an MC.